The Elizabethtown College women’s tennis team is starting off 1-0 in the Landmark Conference after a 7-2 win at the Alumni Courts over Moravian College on Sunday, March 29. Senior Kaitlyn Pellegrino earned her 100th career victory. She is only the tenth player in program history to achieve this milestone.
Pellegrino was paired with her partner, senior Christine Evangelista. They faced doubles competition against Moravian’s Brittney Eady and Roberta Scantlebury. Etown had a 2-0 lead going to the No. 1 doubles match. Victories from doubles pairs of junior Lauren Berry and sophomore Taylor Helsel, and sophomore Madison McCall and first-year Sam Procak gave Etown that early lead.
The match with Pellegrino and Evangelista was tied at 8-8, which forced the match to a tiebreaker. The pair of seniors came out on top to earn Pellegrino her 100th win. Before the match, Pellegrino said that it would be important for her to not let the idea of earning 100 wins get to her head. Now, she can celebrate her accomplishment and use this momentum moving forward. “100 wins is exciting,” Pellegrino said. “I’ve seen players from years previous like Madison Pipkin, Krisit Noeker and my doubles partner Christine Evangelista get their 100 and I remember being so excited for them. I honestly never thought I would be close enough to get a shot at 100.”
Pellegrino’s overall doubles record improved to 58-31, which leaves her tied for fifth in doubles wins for the program. Adding to her victories is a total of 42 singles wins.
Berry and Helsel defeated their opponents 8-4, giving them an overall season record of 7-1. This win for the duo is their sixth straight win. McCall and Procak are working together effectively. They defeated Caitlin Adams and Courtnie Lambert on Sunday, 8-2.
Moravian, now 0-2 in the Landmark Conference, lost to Etown in singles matches No. 3 through No. 6. Although the Greyhounds defeated the Blue Jays in the first two singles matches, Etown bounced back for four straight wins to seal a 7-2 win.
The Blue Jays were picked to finish second in the Landmark Conference in the preseason poll and the Jays are optimistic about the future. Pellegrino noted the importance of the team’s attitude to encourage one another. “In the matches, I think we need to focus on our attitude,” she said. “Yes, we play individual matches, but all six singles matches, or three doubles matches are put out at once. If a teammate is getting down on herself, you worry and it affects your play as well. We thrive off of each other’s attitudes and success.”
Helsel saw the trip to Hilton Head, Sc. as a big step in the right direction for the team. “I think winning those matches definitely gave us some confidence about going into this new conference,” she said. “Coming back to Etown, we had a slow start with our first match at Muhlenburg, but we came out strong against LVC. From here on out, we’re only going to get stronger and tougher to beat.”
The Blue Jays will return to the Alumni Courts on April 6 to face the Juniata Eagles at 2 p.m.